KURODA Shigeki was born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan 1953 and graduated from Tama Art University.
When he had his first exhibition in 1977 he was asked what was to follow his bicycle-and-umbrella theme. Whatever the artist’s answer may have been at the time, the question was certainly premature, as today, thirty years later, Kuroda is still experimenting with his original imagery.
His aim is to express the concept of motion. Using the bicycle as the primary object, he soon added umbrellas. The idea came from a scene in a Hitchcock film, as well the fact that in Japan bicyclists always have umbrellas when it rains. Maybe it was the sense of mystery created by the visual absence of people, or maybe he simply felt that umbrellas would add mass to his compositions. Other changes in composition have developed over the years: in his early works, the bicycles and umbrellas were floating in vacant space. He then added trees, walls, fences, walkways, with the static structures emphasizing the rushing movement.
Kuroda’s technique is intaglio printing. He uses a variety of different processes to achieve contrast in his lines – some sharp and thin, others thick and blurred – and in his background or colour areas – some smooth and uniform, others dappled or textured.
Over the last few years, Kuroda has added animals to his repertoire. Birds and butterflies feature prominently, and it may be the representation of movement that makes them attractive as a subject. But there are also fish and cats, and small animals like frogs and crickets, and even the odd beetle. Another new direction has been in technique: quite a few of the recent prints are executed in the mezzotint technique, a most challenging and time-consuming process. Kuroda has also started working with watercolour and sumi ink on Japanese washi paper, in many instances layering the paper over each other so that the image below appears as if in a fog.
Kuroda has had numerous one-man and group exhibitions, both in Japan and abroad. His works can be found in several important collections, including the British Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Hawaii State Museum, the Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts and the Yokohama Museum of Fine Art in Japan, and the Constanza City Museum in Romania.
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